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Italian Cenci Cookies

My mother brought this special family recipe from Europe a century ago. Cenci can be "dressed up" for any holiday—at Easter, I sprinkle yellow, pink and lavender jelly beans over them, and for Christmas, red and green candy sprinkles give the cenci a festive look. Even without the garnish, they always disappear fast! —Anna Coduto, Fullerton, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    about 4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar and salt until frothy. Stir in vanilla. Sift flour with baking powder; gradually add to batter. Add butter and mix well. Turn out onto a floured surface; knead for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half; roll each half as thin as possible (noodle thickness). Cut into 5-in. x 1-in. strips with a knife or scalloped pastry wheel.
  • Preheat oil to 375°; fry cookies until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Cookies are best served the same day.

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